Friday, 28 February 2020

This month's OB of the Month is Menhaj Huda (Ch. 1980-85), a film and television director and producer. Menhaj is best known for his film Kidulthood (2006), written by Noel Clarke.

  • When you were at Brighton College, what did you want to be when you ‘grew-up’?
    I was at Brighton College from 1980-85 and I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up, but was en route to a career in Banking/Finance etc when I went to Oxford to study Engineering, Economics and Management (EEM).
  • What are you now you've grown up?
    I am now a freelance TV and Film Director, Producer and Writer.
  • What is your best memory of school?
    One memory in particular that stuck with me was a summer camp on the Kent coast with the Army cadets after we had finished our O-Levels. But I have too many great memories to recount them all here, mainly centring around the friendships I made and having bellyful of laughs with them and probably getting into, if not causing trouble, which I can’t really publish here!
  • What was the best piece of advice you were given?
    Think for yourself and not be afraid to stand up for your opinion, don’t just buy into what everyone else is saying or doing – this was the essence of a discussion I remember in a Maths class(!) toward the end of the summer term after our A-Level exams were done…
  • What do you do you do as a career?
    I started out as a Runner before training to become an Editor after which I worked in music videos and other corporate content before becoming a TV Director on my own music show which I co-created with a friend. Since then I have directed many Music Videos, Commercials, TV shows and then Films. And now I am still a TV and Film Director mainly but also produce and write tv and film ideas.
  • What does/did your job involve?
    It varies from job to job, but essentially it involves leading a team (which includes the cast and crew) to convert a screenplay into a finished and presentable film for distribution to the audience.
  • What are the most challenging parts of your job?
    The most challenging part of this job is not knowing where your next gig is coming from – sometimes you are overloaded with work, and sometimes you don’t have any work for months! 
  • What have you done that you are most proud of?
    Apart from creating two amazing children (my daughter is 7 and my son is 5.5) I am most proud of my first feature film Kidulthood (2006), which I produced and directed and won me Best Debut Director at British Independent Film Awards, and also my first TV movie in the US, Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance (2018) which was an incredible challenge as we had so little time to pull it together and I was working with almost entirely a new set of people in a city I had never been to! The film also won a Leo Award for Best TV Movie.
  • What is the single thing that would most improve the quality of your life?
    My kids not waking up (and waking everyone up) before 6am…6.30 even, maybe?
  • What are the three objects you would take with you to a desert island?
    My Ray Bans, my iPhone and gelato (or gelato maker with endless ingredients?)
  • How would you like to be remembered?
    As a great Dad! And also as a film maker who achieved all to the best of his abilities and paved the way for diverse film makers to follow in my footsteps.

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